We have kept very busy this winter checking out new restaurants and bars and circling back around with a few of our well-established, tried and true local favorites. I have to say we have savored some stellar food and sipped more than a few delectable cocktails over the last several weekends.
This past weekend we had a fabulous meal at Ambrozia Bar and Bistro, as did a good number of our guests of the Inn. Sipping coffee on Sunday morning and chatting about the previous night’s experiences, everyone agreed that the food was remarkable, delicious and the chef very talented.
Ambrozia Bar and Bistro opened its doors earlier this year and is located in the fine dining desert of Asheville: a.k.a. North Asheville. The chef, Sam Etheridge recently relocated to Asheville from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His intention was to reincarnate his previous award winning restaurant in New Mexico and add a southern twist. I think it’s important to mention that several folks from his restaurant in N.M. decided to follow in his footsteps and also relocated to Asheville. Together, they have created a great venue.
Oftentimes, new restaurants are plagued with service issues and it takes some time before they gain a steady service footing. We experienced excellent service; the staff was friendly and the attention to the customer’s needs received high marks. There was a real sense of fluid motion and thoughtful customer service that usually comes only with a seasoned restaurant.
The focus is farm to table with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. The bar is wine focused and extensive but not overly pricey. We enjoyed a lovely, reasonably priced Tempranillo. The wine was so delicious; we are now eagerly searching local purveyor’s inventory to purchase some bottles for enjoyment at home. The menu includes snacks, platters, small plates and suppers.
We started off with the Beet salad – rosemary infused goat cheese, orange, watercress and vanilla-bean vinaigrette. Hands down the best beet salad I have ever had. It was so creatively presented. The Brussel sprouts -Benton’s bacon, Texas Pete Cha, compressed apples and preserved lemon crème fraiche were so delicious we had to order another plate after scarfing the first down. The Sea scallop carbonara with fresh fettuccini, Benton’s bacon, English pea puree, parmesan foam and a 63 degree egg was out of this world. The scallops were perfectly prepared. Again, the creativity and the presentation were executed fabulously. The Steak frite was a flat iron with smoked fries and a house steak sauce with gorgonzola aiollo and brussel sprout slaw. The steak was prepared perfectly and the sauce delicious.
Several guests have told me that the Dirty burger which includes seared foie gras and fried egg and truffle fries is out of this world. Also, the NC Ahi Tuna 3 ways has been highly recommended by reputable sources who have also enjoyed their trip to Ambrozia.
We were all impressed with the presentation, taste and delivery of all our meals. Ambrozia is definitely a must visit and a great addition to the vibrant food scene in Asheville.